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Matt Gibbins of Hunter: the best from Down Under

Crikey. We’re in February already so trying to write some words about the best antipodean campaigns of 2014 is surprisingly much harder than I thought, especially when it’s blurred with the hustle and bustle of 2015. In fact, trying to remember anything of note from last year has been exceptionally hard. I know it’s not old age as I tried to cheat and asked others the campaigns they thought rocked and they came up with the same response. So rather than trawl through copious websites to try and jog my memory, I’m going to share the things that pop into my head when I think ‘2014.’

 

What We Do In The Shadows

I’d love to say this film is awesome – but I haven’t actually seen it yet. However, i’ve been completely blown away by the trailer and subsequent promotion. Written and staring Kiwi luminaries Jermaine Clement and Taika Waititi (google them), the trailer is about 3 vampires flatting in suburban Wellington really got me hooked. The fun and energy that went into the promotion alone is a shining, classic example of how far an idea can go when given a bit of love and freedom. The Kickstarter appeal to help get distribution in the states is a classic example of ‘self promotion’. But don’t take my word for it. Have a look at the trailers yourself.

 

Lorde & M.A.C

Music this side of the world really drew some serious attention in 2014 and Lorde definitely led the charge (backed up by Broods, Bull & Bear). Music aside, one thing that struck me as a brilliant bit of marketing was her partnership with M.A.C. make up. I know there’s been a ton of other artist/M.A.C. relationships but this one was right for the moment – an antidote to the Miley/Taylor image conscious world. Lorde’s slightly ironic relationship with M.A.C. resulting in her Pure Heroine lipstick range really hit home. Goth was cool again. In a mainstream way. And that lipstick smudge at the American Music Awards? TwitterBookChat went into overdrive. What also made me smile was the brilliant example of someone eschewing the virtues of being a small act but really taking on the global marketing machine at it’s own game. Yeah, that really stuck in my mind. Almost as much as the album and ‘that song’.

 

Blazed

If there’s one thing NZ & OZ do well, it’s public safety campaigns. If McCann Melbourne’s ‘20zillion ways to die’ and the now iconic kiwi drink drive ad, ‘Ghost chips’ are anything to go by, we get a real sense of how to entertain whilst getting a serious message across. Blazed is another example, inspired by Taika Waititi’s short – Two Cars, One Night, Blazed is a mini film in an ad featuring 3 kids talking about how their dads drive stoned. Beautifully shot and performed, it’s a great piece of communication. Ok, it doesn’t tick all the multi media/integrated /social boxes people mark a campaign’s success on, but for it’s simplicity and honesty, it really stuck in my mind.

 

Steinlager Pure – Born To Defy

One campaign that stuck in my mind was DDB NZ’s Born To Defy campaign. Aside from having a fascination with how long I can hold my breath, this campaign really stuck in my mind. In fact it was the first thing I thought of when thinking back to last year – ‘Ah… that holdy breath thing for Steinlager Pure.’ The idea of championing unique Kiwi heroes really came home with a live attempt at breaking the world free dive record. A really exciting bit of work with a real life and death situation. Needless to say, 15 x World Free Diving Champ, William Trubridge, stuffed up the attempt on the ascent. But still. He beats my 40 seconds in the bath tub.

DSC_1139.JPGv2Matt Gibbins is executive creative director and a co-founder of Hunter. In his previous life, he was one of the original founders of Albion London helping it to grow from start up to up start. He’s also worked at W+K, Mother, Fallon and KesselsKramer. His client experience includes; Skype, innocent drinks, Betfair, Blackberry, SABMiller/Grolsch, Coca-Cola Amatil/Suntory Beam, LeasePlan, Hubbards, Atomic Coffee Roasters and Charlie’s Drinks.

 

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